Supplementary benefit is a cash benefit intended to bring your household income up to a level which the States believes is enough to live on. The amount of benefit you receive is calculated on a weekly basis with reference to your household income.
It is paid from funds provided by the States of Guernsey in order to bring a person's income up to the level which the States consider is the minimum amount required to live on. The minimum amount required to live on is known as the Requirement Rate, and varies according to your circumstances.
A person who is over 18 years of age, no longer in full-time education and ordinarily resident in Guernsey, Alderney, Herm or Jethou may claim supplementary benefit if their resources are insufficient to meet their requirements.
How do I claim supplementary benefit?
- Contact Social Security on 732508 or visit our offices at Edward T Wheadon House, Le Truchot, St Peter Port, or the States Office, Alderney. If you are unable to attend the office because of a disability or illness, a member of Social Security's staff may be able to visit you at home.
- You will be interviewed by a Supplementary Benefit Officer who will ask you for information about your income, other assets and household dependants. This is required in order to work out how much benefit you will be entitled to, if any. The information you are asked to give is treated as strictly confidential.
- If you are entitled to receive supplementary benefit, you may be visited in your home by a visiting officer who will discuss your circumstances and the amount of benefit to which you are entitled. You are legally required to report any changes in your circumstances to this office as soon as they occur.
- Benefit is normally paid on a weekly basis directly into a bank account. If you do not have a bank account, you will need to visit a bank and ask to open an account. Basic bank accounts are available from a number of banks.
- If your claim is new, or is likely to vary due to earnings or changes in your circumstances, it is likely that you will be asked to visit the office on a regular basis.
- More information on how to claim supplementary benefit is available in the Supplementary Benefit leaflet (SPB2) in the downloads section of this page.
Will I need to get a job?
- Anyone claiming supplementary benefit who is under pensionable age and all dependants who are of working age (i.e. over school leaving age but under pensionable age) and who have left full-time education, must also be in full-time remunerative work, or acting in compliance with work requirements relating to them, in order to be eligible for supplementary benefit. More information about 'work requirements' is provided in the Supplementary Benefit leaflet (SPB2) provided in the downloads section of this page.
How much will I get?
- There are two rates of benefit depending on whether you need help on a short term or long term basis. Every new claimant starts on the lower rate of benefit and, if they still have a need for benefit after six months of continuous assistance, the benefit rate may be increased depending on the circumstances of the case. Detailed information about supplementary benefits rates, allowances and how assessments are made is provided in the leaflets provided in the downloads section of this page.
Winter Fuel Allowance
- Between the last week in October and the last week in April certain householders are entitled to a fuel allowance.
- From October 2016 this rate is set at £26.03 per week.
- For more information please contact Supplementary Benefit on 732508
Medical Expenses Assistance Scheme (MEAS)
- The Medical Expenses Assistance Scheme is a means-tested scheme administered by Social Security to assist with the payment of medical expenses. Assistance can be given in the form of a grant, an interest-free loan, or a combination of both.
- Under MEAS you can ask for help with the cost of essential medical treatment carried out in Guernsey by States-Registered Practitioners. MEAS can pay for: doctors' consultations, minor operations carried out by GP, treatment at A&E, dentistry, a course of Physiotherapy, a course of osteopathy, a course of chiropody, spectacles/contact lenses (where clinically required), sterilisation, and orthodontics.
- In addition, families on a low income may be entitled to ongoing medical cover.
- If you are claiming supplementary benefit you will only need to approach MEAS if (a) you need help with old doctor's bills; or (b) you have capital in excess of £3,000 and need help with expensive one-off treatment.
- Supplementary beneficiaries who move off benefit and into work may have their medical costs covered through MEAS for anything up to 6 months depending on individual circumstances.
- Telephone the Assessments Officer on 732448 to make an appointment.
What do I do if my circumstances change?
- Certain changes will affect the amount of Supplementary Benefit that you may be entitled to. Because of this it is important that you inform us of any changes to your circumstances and those of any dependant members of your household.
- Common examples of this include moving address, changing employment, and going out of the island. For these, there are forms available on this page or in our office that you can complete and send into us.
- If you have a change to your circumstances that is not covered by these forms, you can report the change to us in our office or telephone a Supplementary Benefit Officer on 732508 for guidance. Examples of this include a person coming to live with you (either temporarily or permanently) or if you acquire any income that you have not told us about before (or the income you have already declared increases or decreases).